Role of women in the great gatsby essays

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None of them are abused as much as Myrtle, whose nose is broken by Tom and who is locked up by George when he discovers her infidelity. Other images of women in the novel might include the dreamlike drunken woman on the stretcher, in a scene imagined by Nick as representing his idea of the East. This woman is a casualty, dependent on men to carry her, but utterly powerless as she is incapacitated. The idealisation of Daisy, and the struggle between Tom and Gatsby over her, as if she is a possession or token, would be a clear starting point.

Throughout the novel, marriage, often seen in feminist criticism as a patriarchal construct, is a failed institution. The above approaches privilege the female characters within the text, but it is also possible to consider the novel in terms of the ways it is constructed, particularly the non-linear ways in which the narrative proceeds. The choice of Nick, a male narrator, is also open to feminist analysis. Feminist interpretations of The Great Gatsby Female roles A feminist approach to the The Great Gatsby might focus not only on the female characters such as Daisy, Jordan and Myrtle, but other minor female characters and a selection of female party guests.

Dependent women Daisy and Myrtle are more conventional in that they are married, although they are both prepared to have affairs. A style of writing described by the French feminist Helene Cixous as expressing the feminine, and developed as a concept by subsequent theorists. His abundance of expensive shirts, a sign of the beauty that material success can bring, moves Daisy to a moment of what appears to be genuine emotion.

But in the end Daisy turns to Tom again because, like Nick, she expects that men will have integrity, at least outside the sexual realm. It should be noted that Gatsby similarly denies Daisy her full humanity.


His insistence that she declare that she had never loved Tom, born out of his need to restore Daisy to her younger self, points to his inability to perceive Daisy as a person who has grown and changed. By so simplifying the moral complexities of this situation, Nick avoids having to take responsibility for his own actions. By deciding that Daisy is a child and that the truth is an unutterable fact, he does not need to worry about the morality of his failure to tell the police or to testify at the inquest that Daisy had been driving. Nick seeks a similar simplicity when it comes to his understanding of Gatsby and to his own choice of retreating from the world that Gatsby represents.

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To support his displacement of responsibility from the dreamer to the dream, in this case from Gatsby to the American dream, Nick repeatedly points to ways in which Gatsby was molded by American culture. But Nick is riot content with this reading of Gatsby.

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He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor. Nick evidences the same sort of contradictions when it comes to his own choices. On the one hand, he is deeply aware of the ways in which the modern world lacks order, purpose, and morality. It is he who identifies the valley of ashes as a wasteland and who so lyrically explains at the end of the novel that the vision of America as a New Eden was always and only an illusion.

In the foreground four solemn men in dress suits are walking along the side-walk with a stretcher on which lies a drunken woman in a white evening dress.

Her hand, which dangles over the side, sparkles cold with jewels. Gravely the men turn in at a house—the wrong house. Nick knows that such associations are merely fanciful. Unlike Leatherstocking, he has no frontier to which he can retreat. Unlike Columbus, there are no new Edens he can find.

The Great Gatsby Abstract

In contrast to Whitman, who eventually merges with the lives of those he observes, Nick decides to move out of the game altogether. He does so, even though he is aware of the cost.

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  7. Even with his understanding of the dangers of indifference and moral apathy, even with his insights into the complexities of life, Nick makes a series of choices which essentially negate his consciousness. For example, he will, as he had in college, refuse intimacy with others.

    To make such choices, Nick oversimplifies the complexities of what he knows and overlooks the contradictions in his thought. He no longer wants his angle of vision threatened by any other perspective. Thus he will even deny what he has most learned from watching Gatsby.

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    He overlooks the fact that he is embracing illusions he knows are empty and instead portrays his return to the Midwest as exiling himself from a corrupt East. He retreats from involvement with other people but continues to see himself as a mature, responsible adult, as the one who cleans up messes and erases obscene remarks on sidewalks.

    But most significantly, Nick, to some extent, negates his criticism and his analysis of contemporary America. Instead of confronting the implications of these lessons, Nick does the opposite and justifies that as well. He does not argue that individuals should make judgments and act on them. Such a reading, however, offers a fairly bleak vision. Only the unreliable Jordan is critical of his carelessness. At the same time, as Matthew J. There is evidence that during the decade following the publication of The Great Gatsby , Fitzgerald began to confront more directly the issues which the novel raised but did not resolve.

    The Scott Fitzgerald who wrote The Great Gatsby does then appear to have been much like his narrator.

    The Great Gatsby - Themes

    That both were concerned with the question of individual responsibility is readily apparent.

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    role of women in the great gatsby essays Role of women in the great gatsby essays
    role of women in the great gatsby essays Role of women in the great gatsby essays

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